Gab, the social network of the far right, has extended its free-speech platform with a tool that allows users to bypass “rampant corporate censorship” and comment on almost anything, the company said Tuesday.
Called Dissenter, the new service lets users comment on news articles, YouTube videos and even individual social media posts — even if those sites don’t have comment sections or have comments switched off.
For example, movie review website Rotten Tomatoes announced that it was switching off comments on the new Captain Marvel movie this week, over concerns that trolls planned to leave negative comments following remarks by the film’s star Brie Larson.
However, Dissenter users are already giving their opinions on the movie and Rotten Tomatoes decision.
“When Captain Marvel was first announced, I was happy that we were finally getting a female-led superhero in the [Marvel Comic Universe], but then, Brie Larson opened her mouth with her anti-white male tirades and the promotion for the movie itself was clearly taking a feminist approach,” Gab user Andrew Sparling commented.
Another popular use is to comment on YouTube videos where comments have been disabled.
YouTube last week purged the site of tens of millions of comments after it was revealed that they were being used to direct users to potentially sexual videos of children, allowing them to participate in a “soft-core pedophile ring.”
Within 24 hours of the app launching, more than 6,000 people were using it, posting more than 10,000 comments on 4,200 different websites, Gab claimed.
As well as using the browser extension, users can visit the Dissenter website directly, input any URL of their choice and begin commenting. They can also discover trending comment sections on the site.
In an email to users on Tuesday evening, Gab founder Andrew Torba said the new service was necessary because of “rampant corporate censorship of ordinary internet users.”
“Whether that takes the form of YouTube demonetizing millions of videos and removing comment sections, Facebook and Instagram banning British activist Tommy Robinson for his political opinions, or Netflix banning comedy shows at the behest of Saudi princes.
Gab first came to prominence last October, when hosting provider GoDaddy pulled support after it was revealed that Robert Bowers, the gunman who allegedly killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, had an account on Gab where he regularly shared violently racist content.
When it finally came back online, the site was flooded with anti-Semitic comments.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Dissenter’s presence in the Chrome store, but the app currently has a five-star-rating from users.
“Finally I can comment on those distasteful and totally misleading SJW articles on internet,” one review says.
Cover image: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017 (Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)